In November of 2017, the Russian MP participants visited the company RAICO Bautechnik GmbH as part of their manager training on the subject of “Energy Efficiency in the Construction and Renovation of Buildings”. The company based in the Bavarian town of Pfaffenhausen develops and sells high-quality glazing systems. The products have one essential advantage: The combination of various materials such as steel, wood and aluminium results in extraordinarily high energy savings. In addition to the primary focus on energy efficiency and technological innovation, the executives were also able to gain insight into human resources management. The company’s CEO Dr Stefan Lackner mentioned several times that his business has taken up the motto of the famous Three Musketeers: “One for all and all for one”. All employees contribute to ensuring the company’s stable economic development through their personal responsibility, their commitment, and their personal and professional competencies.
The topic of vocational education and qualifications is very important in Germany. Highly qualified and reliable employees require less control and supervision. They work mostly independently, so executives can focus their attention on strategic and complex tasks that are technically demanding. The Russian MP participants could see for themselves at RAICO Bautechnik GmbH that this concept also functions well in practice.
The managers at RAICO see human resources development and vocational training and further education as a key factor to the company’s success. Like many German companies, RAICO is also constantly on the lookout for highly skilled workers. That’s why they are already targeting vocational schools to find new talents and future employees. The company hosts an open house day every year and is also involved at educational trade fairs. Former trainees help young people to identify their strengths based on their individual interests and hobbies, and to consider that for their future occupation. The use of this approach in human resources management is the most up-to-date method.
The firm runs its own academy to develop employees to function as in-house knowledge multipliers. As part of vocational further education, employees accompany their coworkers at various workplaces and cycle through all of the departments and divisions in the company. There they deepen and expand their technical knowledge and become involved in all phases of product development and in the work processes. The relevant specialist knowledge about facade engineering or construction physics as well as communication and presentation techniques can be acquired from coworkers as needed in the coworker academy. To train and apply key concepts such as entrepreneurial thinking skills, self-organization and structured teamwork, trainees at RAICO Bautechnik play the business planning game Playbizz. They use a model company to learn how to compete and react quickly to changing economic conditions.
The visit to this medium-sized Bavarian enterprise made clear that the strengths, skills and learning potentials of the employees can only develop when trust and social companionship replace strict controls and hierarchy. Such a leadership style doesn’t require any further motivation: subordinates become allies.
At the end of the visit the programme participants exchanged business cards with the head of human resources. Everyone was in agreement that the Russian executives intended to implement the new ideas and concepts from human resources management in their home companies as well. But a concrete cooperation is also not far off: One of the participants had originally been thinking about working with a competitor already established in the Russian market. But after the visit to Pfaffenhausen, he made his decision: RAICO should be their partner from Germany. The MP participant already informed his management of the choice before leaving Germany.
By Violetta Sticker
Export Academy Baden-Württemberg, Tübingen